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Blu-ray Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

December 4, 2018

By John Corrado

★★★½ (out of 4)

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is back for his sixth impossible mission in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and the result is the year’s best summer blockbuster, which is just now arriving on Blu-ray.

I saw this one in theatres over the summer, and it’s easily some of the most fun I’ve had at the movies this year. The film more than lives up to the high bar set by the previous entries in the series, delivering more brilliantly conceived set-pieces that allow Cruise to defy both death and gravity.

This time around, Hunt and his usual IMF partners Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) are teamed up with CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) to track down three stolen plutonium cores that have fallen into the hands of the Apostles, a new radical organization founded by the remaining members of the Syndicate. There is reason to believe they are planning to use the plutonium to create a devastating bomb that could be ready to go off within the next three days.

Hunt must assume the identity of John Lark, the mysterious leader of the Apostles, to meet with a black market weapons dealer known as the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), but in true Mission: Impossible fashion, there are also plenty of twists and double crossings along the way. Set up like a culmination of the series, director Christopher McQuarrie keeps finding ways to make the action feel fresh and exciting throughout Mission: Impossible – Fallout, from a visceral hand-to-hand fight in a bathroom to the thrilling grandiosity of the finale.

This is the first time a director has ever returned to the series, having also helmed the fifth instalment Rogue Nation, and McQurrie does a bang up job of staging the multiple set-pieces while also navigating the twisty and convoluted story that ties them all together. Cruise, doing all of his own stunts, continues to prove himself as one of our most versatile and daring action stars, even well into his fifties. Whether skydiving from a plane or leaping between buildings, a stunt that resulted in him breaking his ankle in real life, the actor delivers thrilling work here while outdoing many performers half his age.

There are foot chases, motorcycle chases and car chases that serve to quicken our collective pulses, with cinematographer Rob Hardy, who is new to the series, doing a great job of framing the action scenes in a clear and exciting way. The film culminates with a grand finale involving two helicopters and the side of a cliff, backed by the literal ticking clock of a bomb that needs to be defused, in a stunning sequence that feels like a mini masterpiece of suspense cinema in and of itself. It’s brilliantly pulled off and serves as a positively thrilling way to end the film, playing like the Burj Khalifa sequence from Brad Bird’s Ghost Protocol cranked up to eleven.

Even if there is rarely any doubt as to whether or not our heroes will make it out alive, the suspense and fun comes from seeing how the heck they are going to do it. It’s as pure a jolt of adrenaline as any that we have gotten at the movies this year, and another excellent entry into a series that has become one of the most reliably thrilling action franchises around, offering a selection of awesome set-pieces that rank among the best in the genre. While it was made to be seen in a theatre, Mission: Impossible – Fallout still thrills at home, especially if you have the right system in place.

The Blu-ray also includes three commentary tracks and an isolated score track on the first disc, as well as a second disc devoted entirely to bonus features. There’s the seven part feature Behind the Fallout, made up of a series of featurettes that take us through various aspects of the production, as well as a deleted scenes montage, the two featurettes Foot Chase Musical Breakdown and The Ultimate Mission, and a selection of storyboards. The package also comes with a small collectible book showcasing some of the stunts in the film through a series of quotes and glossy images.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a Paramount Home Media Distribution release. It’s 147 minutes and rated PG.

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